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  • The Weather Network Launches Weather App For BlackBerry 10

28th January 2013

The Weather Network Launches Weather App For BlackBerry 10

weather networkThe Weather Network and MétéoMédia, divisions of Pelmorex Media Inc., today announced the launch of The Weather Network application for BlackBerry 10, bringing its extensive weather information and forecasting ability to the new platform. The launch signifies an ongoing commitment by The Weather Network and Research In Motion (RIM) to provide BlackBerry users with the most up-to-date and engaging weather-related content in the palm of their hands. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th April 2011

Two New Game Trailers and A Kids’ Animation Contest

Toon BoomToon Boom Animation has a new look with their redesigned web site. While you’re over there taking a look around, check out the entries in their Animated Winter Wonderland Contest. It was open to elementary students in Quebec, in partnership with LearnQuebec and voting to pick a winner is now in progress.Relic Entertainment

The first video dev diary for Space Marine has been posted to YouTube – check out the action and hear from the devs as they talk about Relic Entertainment’s next title. Set in the rich Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop®, Space Marine is scheduled to be released worldwide for the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC in August 2011.

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You are a Space Marine, one of humanity’s elite warriors, the last line of defence between mankind and its enemies. Through extensive genetic modification, psycho-chemical conditioning and years of rigorous training that would kill a normal man a Space Marine becomes superhuman. When one of the industrial ‘Forge World’ planets where humanity creates its greatest weapons, comes under attack and the thousands of imperial soldiers stationed there are overwhelmed the only thing standing between this planet and its total destruction is your Space Marine.

battlegoat studiosParadox Interactive has released the first trailer of Supreme Ruler: Cold War. Developed by BattleGoat Studios, which also created the successful Supreme Ruler 2010 and 2020, their most recent title invites you to relive the tension and uncertainty of the Cold War.  Supreme Ruler: Cold War is the next installment in the Supreme Ruler series and gives players control over a 1950’s United States or Soviet Union as they try to lead their country to glory.

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As leader of the United States or the Soviet Union, you must make the correct Economic, Diplomatic, Domestic and Military decisions to successfully navigate your country through this dangerous historical era and increase your nation’s Sphere of Influence on the world stage.

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18th March 2011

No Friday Slowdown Here

IGDA Members: Today is the last day of voting for your Board Members. If you have not yet done so, please check your email for the Election Notification and voting link. We are very close to a quorum, please make sure you cast your vote before 11:59PM tonight. I’ve done my part and voted – now it’s your turn. Please pass along the word to other IGDA members, let’s get this election into the Tasks Successfully Done column. If you did not receive the email or are having problems please contact Ryan Arndt via email at ryan@igda.org right away.

siggraph 2011SIGGRAPH 2011 Tickets Now Available For Purchase. Early Bird pricing is in effect until June 17th. Member, non-member and student prices are available for all categories: full conference, full conference single day, basic conference, basic conference single day, computer animation festival. Please see the ticket information page for full details on categories and pricing.

SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver – Make It Home

Congratulations to onX Enterprise Solutions, who has received two Cisco Partner Summit regional awards for Canadian Managed Cloud Partner of the Year and Canadian Borderless Network Partner of the Year.onx

VIATeCDon’t forget that nominations are open for the 2011 VIATeC Awards. A little saddened that VIATeC is using the current tide of attention being paid to that recently fired TV personality as part of their promotional efforts, but here are the categories open to Vancouver Island technology companies:

  • Technology Company of the Year
  • Emerging Technology Company of the Year
  • Employer of the Year – can only be nominated by staff
  • Online Strategy of the Year
  • Environmental Excellence
  • Executive of the Year
  • Employee/Team of the Year
  • Innovative Excellence
  • Product of the Year
  • Member’s Choice for Service Provider of the Year – can only be nominated by a technology company.

The Awards ceremony will take place in Carson Hall at the Victoria Conference Centre on June 2nd. Tickets are $150.00 for VIATeC members and $200.00 for non-members.

Hothead GamesHere is the launch trailer for Hothead Games‘ latest entry into the digital download realm. Swarm is scheduled for release on PSN March 22nd (March 30th in Europe) and XBLA worldwide on March 23rd. This is definitely one game I’m looking forward to getting my hands on – I’ve been hoarding most of the MS Points I was given for Christmas just so I can see how many ways there are to squish and dismember these little blue guys.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will already know that Swarm is an action-platformer that allows you take control of 50 utterly fearless Swarmites and drive them through an intense, entertaining and often suicidal battle of survival. Run, bash, huddle, boost, stack, jump, push and throw your way through gauntlets of death and destruction in an attempt to collect valuable DNA and ensure that at least one Swarmite survives.

behaviour gamesAtari has released the second developer diary from its upcoming XBLA, PSN and PC download top-down arcade shooter Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, which was developed at Behaviour Interactive. Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is out on XBLA and PC download on March 23rd and will launch on PSN on March 30th (even though the dev diary says it’s available now).

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Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a four player, ghost-busting adventure that will take players on a brand new paranormal experience. Players will suit up with their proton packs and assume the role of a rookie hired by the Ghostbusters to save New York City from a disaster of ghoulish proportions.

The action-packed gameplay progresses as players complete jobs as fearless rookies who explore a series of haunted environments that must be cleared of any ectoplasmic threats. The gripping adventure rages on as players encounter gigantic bosses that require a concentrated effort to defeat using a medley of highly destructive weapons including the Proton Stream, Plasma Inductor, and the Fermion Shock. Rookie Ghostbusters will face the dangers of the eerie world alone or with a ghostbusting team of friends both locally or online through the game’s multiplayer capability.

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble’s Burn The Rope is bigger and better than ever with a version for the iPad launching today! Now is the time to join in the flame-lighting fun with bigger graphics, brighter fire, and Wickman as you’ve never seen him before! Burn the Rope HD also features an innovative new touch control burn the rope hdscheme exclusive to the iPad that lets players rotate the puzzle onscreen.

Burn the Rope is a casual puzzle title that was originally released on the iPhone in December 2010. The goal of the game is to burn as much rope as possible on each level – which is not as easy as it may sound. The fire only burns upwards, so the player must rotate the rope to keep the flame going – once all the flames are out, it’s game over! With clever, hard to master puzzle designs for each level and some insects that add to the gameplay in unique and interesting ways, Burn the Rope been one of the hottest apps in the App Store for the past several months.

With 116 exciting levels (and more on the way), Burn the Rope is incredibly fun and addictive, and the new features in Burn the Rope HD for iPad let players experience the game in a whole new way

Additional HD Features Include:

• Apple Game Center support with 30 achievements and iTunes library support
• All-new Bug-Blasting Bonus Rounds!
• Lights Out! Mode – light the way as you burn!

Bioware CorpBioWare will be releasing Mass Effect: Arrival, the thrilling final mission for Mass Effect 2 on March 29th. This conclusion to Mass Effect 2 and preamble to Mass Effect 3, Arrival will also include three new achievements (or trophies) for the Xbox 360®, PC and PlayStation®3. The PDLC pack will be available for 560 MS Points on Xbox 360, $6.99USD on PlayStation Network and also available for PC for 560 BioWare Points.Mass Effect 2-Arrival

In Mass Effect: Arrival, Commander Shepard is sent to the edge of the galaxy to rescue an undercover operative who may have evidence of an imminent Reaper invasion that has been looming since the very beginning of the series. Returning and playing a prominent role in Mass Effect: Arrival is fan favorite Admiral Hackett, who is voiced by legendary science-fiction actor Lance Henriksen (Alien, Terminator).

“All year, we have been extremely honored and humbled by the reception we have received for Mass Effect 2 from players around the world, including our post release DLC”, said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer, Mass Effect series. “Mass Effect: Arrival is an exciting extension to Mass Effect 2 and will show players just how close the Reapers are to returning and completing their deadly harvest.”

TVOOnly two weeks after launching, TVO’s new applications for BlackBerry® smartphones for early learners and school aged-kids, have been downloaded from BlackBerry App World™ over 250,000 times.

Flower Frenzy and Polka Dot Shorts support learning objectives from the Ontario school curriculum and are teacher and classroom tested. Both are designed for BlackBerry smartphones running OS 5.0 and higher. Polka Dot Shorts is a sequence matching game for kids aged 2-5 that supports the early-learning and kindergarten math curriculum. Flower Frenzy is an entertaining and flower frenzyeducational game with three levels of progressive difficulty that uses pictures of flowers to help kids ages 6-11 learn to create sequences.

Both apps teach kids pre-cursors to patterning skills which help build the foundational knowledge required for mathematics in later years.  Each app also has a safety feature to prevent young users from making phone calls or sending emails.

“We’re really excited that so many kids are embracing TVO’s latest digital media offerings,” says CEO Lisa de Wilde. “There is a real need for digital content that will engage kids in learning that complements what happens in the classroom environment. We’re happy to help fill the gap.”

CRTCThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today simplified the process for Canadians who want to change providers for their television, home telephone, wireless or Internet services. Consumers will now be able to switch service providers with only one phone call. Once it has obtained the proper consent, the new provider will make all the arrangements on behalf of consumers to have the services transferred over. The CRTC requires that customer transfers be completed within two business days, except for wireless service where transfers must be completed within 2.5 hours.

“In a competitive marketplace, consumers are always encouraged to explore different options for their broadcasting and telecommunications services,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “The new rules will make the transfer process a seamless and convenient experience, while enabling Canadians to benefit from receiving retention offers from their current providers.”

If they prefer, consumers can also cancel their services by contacting their service provider directly, which can make them offers to retain their business. The CRTC reminds consumers that, when switching to a new service provider, they are still responsible for any termination penalties or other terms associated with their existing contract. Additionally, the CRTC has established safeguards to prevent service providers from sharing confidential customer information with their internal sales and marketing groups during the transfer process.

Following today’s decision, the CRTC has also launched a new proceeding seeking views on whether these safeguards are still in the best interests of consumers and whether they limit a consumer’s ability to receive offers from a service provider. Interested parties may submit their comments by April 18, 2011. They may do so by completing the online form, by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or by fax at 819-994-0218.

CanWITNominations are now open for the Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship, which is presented to the woman who has shown the most outstanding technological innovation and corporate leadership — leadership that has significantly expanded the frontiers of Canada’s advanced technology industry. The purpose of the Award is to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and create positive role models for women. The Sara Kirke Award for outstanding woman in technology innovation and corporate leadership for 2010 was awarded to Carol Leaman, CEO of PostRank Inc.

Sara Kirke is considered by many to be North America’s first entrepreneur. She arrived in Newfoundland in 1638 with her husband David Kirke, who was soon recalled to England. Sara, however, continued to reside in Avalon, and conducted business as usual from the Pool Plantation. Lady Kirke was a remarkable individual as she managed affairs at the Pool Plantation and became one of the most successful merchants on the English Shore — and was almost certainly North America’s first and foremost woman entrepreneur.

Submissions for the 2011 Sara Kirke Awards must be received at the CanWIT office by April 15, 2011, and all nominees must be a member of CanWIT, which is itself a Division of CATAAlliance. The 2011 winner will be announced at the 26th Annual Canadian Innovation and Leadership Awards Gala on May 18th, which are being held at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.

BCIC New VenturesThe BCIC-New Ventures Competition: 2011 is now open for applications until April 18 at midnight, with the first seminar in the new nine seminar series taking place on April 4th. The competition dates and seminar schedule have been officially set and now it’s up to the competitors to invest $200 in their technology business idea and learn how to develop it into a profitable company.

As one of North America’s largest technology business idea competitions, BCIC-New Ventures attracts applicants from a wide range of industries including cleantech, media, Internet, information technology and life sciences. BCIC and the New Ventures BC Society invite BC entrepreneurs to submit their ideas to the 11th annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition offering the chance to win a share of the more than $360,000 in prizes.

Added to the mix of prizes to be won this year are the $15,000 Vancity Social Venture Prize and two prizes for Agricultural technologies, valued at $30,000 and $20,000. The competition has also launched a separate stream for Agritech competitors, with events starting March 30.

The competition is open to any BC person, resident or business with a technology-focused idea that has not yet secured significant financing from external investors (i.e. investors other than friends, family and company founders).

The series of nine business education seminars, open to both the public and competition applicants, will take place in Vancouver at the SFU Beedie School of Business beginning April 4, 2011. Students with valid ID can register to attend these seminars at no cost.

Register today to:

  • Learn from some of BC’s top business experts at our business-education seminars
  • Network with top professionals in business, law, finance, government and academia
  • Improve your business and strategies during each round of competition
  • Receive advice and insight from mentors In Round 3
  • Present your condensed business plan to a panel of ‘angel’ investors, venture capitalists and industry experts in Round 4

Now in its eleventh year, the main BCIC-New Ventures Competition attracts applicants from a wide range of industries. This year we’re launching a new stream of the competition focused on Agritech ventures in the categories of: primary production, food, and bioenergy/bioproducts (for or from agriculture).

This new program is funded through Growing Forward, a federal/provincial agreement between the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to support agri-food technology innovation and commercialization.

There will be two specific prizes – a $30,000 first prize and $20,000 second prize for Innovation in Agricultural Technology – plus specific events for Agritech competitors who proceed through the four rounds of the business competition. Applicants who register will also be placed into the larger competition with the chance to compete for more than $300,000 in additional prizes.

AOL CanadaAOL Canada is proud to sponsor the Interactive Category of the 2011 National Advertising Awards (NAA) that celebrates and rewards outstanding Canadian advertising creativity, delivering fresh new ideas to Canada’s leading brands. In addition to the recognition they receive with the award, category winners will attend the 58th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival June 19 to 25, 2011 in France.

“Sponsoring the interactive competition aligns with our commitment to high-value, premium quality and creativity online,” says Graham Moysey, AOL Canada General Manager, “At AOL, it’s all about creating a vastly improved online consumer experience – what better way than to get Canada’s best and brightest creatives engaged?”

AOL is also working with agencies that are submitting entries to consider using AOL’s award-winning HD content delivery platform, Pictela, now available in Canada. Pictela provides agencies with a broad and highly unique canvas for demonstrating their creativity.

In the Interactive Category, participants are challenged with a brief from Biotherm to recruit new users to their BioLab Skin Solutions. All category briefs were made available on March 2 and the deadline for creative submissions is March 31. Winners will be announced at the National Advertising Awards Gala on May 5 in Toronto.

“Participating in the National Advertising Awards Interactive Category is a fantastic opportunity to submit the challenge of taking our BioLab recruitment animation to the next level to the best Canadian creative minds,” said Bradley Smith, Biotherm Marketing Director. “I can’t wait to see how they’ll translate Biotherm’s biological expertise and its strong Canadian heritage into a complete interactive brand experience that will attract new consumers to the brand.”

“The National Advertising Awards are unique because they are North America’s only major brief-based competition,” says Cam Gardner, President, Adcam Media Group, Owner of The National Advertising Awards. “It’s always a thrill to see the results of unleashed creative thinking against the needs of major Canadian brands. We’re grateful for the support of sponsors like AOL Canada who help make the awards possible.”

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posted in Action Adventure, Associations, Awards, Business News, Casual, Dev Diaries, Digital Products, Early Childhood, Education, Educational, Events, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Government, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, News, Platform, Puzzle, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

4th March 2011

Great Opportunities For Digital Developers

Submit: This is the last week for Award Nomination Submissions for the BC Technology Awards. The deadline is March 11th.
Enter: The PayPal X Developer Challenge for Android. Cash and publishing up for grabs, see the Challenge Rules for complete details.
Enter: The Great Canadian Appathon, a 48-hour hackathon where students across the country will compete for some incredible cash prizes and publishing opportunities this March 11th – 13th. Register now. Great Canadian Appathon 2011The Great Canadian Appathon is primarily an online event, but there are 6 schools across the country who will be hosting in-house events with free food, representatives from the sponsoring companies and more! There will be expert developers from XMG Studio at each of these locations to help provide insight into the mobile game development process as well as free SWAG bags for the first 100 people to show up at a hub location. The six hosted locations are: triOS College, UBC, Carleton University, Nova Scotia Community College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo, open mediaConcordia University and TELUS House Toronto.
Participate: OpenMedia will be talking with the Honourable Tony Clement, the Minister of Industry, on March 8th and they would like to know if there are any questions you would them to ask regarding User Based Billing and Canada’s Digital Economy. Visit the OpenMedia site to find out how you can get involved.

TVOTVO has launched two free apps for BlackBerry® smartphones for early learners and school aged- kids. Both games support learning objectives from the Ontario school curriculum, have been teacher and classroom tested and are designed for BlackBerry® smartphone devices with OS 5.0 and higher.

Polka Dot Shorts is a sequence matching game for kids aged 2-5 that supports the early-learning and kindergarten math curriculum. The app features TVO’s beloved children’s character Polkaroo and challenges players to find a sequence of dots and rewards them for the correct answer.
flower frenzy
Flower Frenzy is an entertaining and educational game with three levels of progressive difficulty that uses pictures of flowers to help kids ages 6-11 learn to create sequences. Both Polka Dot Shorts and Flower Frenzy teach kids pre-cursors to patterning skills which help build the foundational knowledge required for mathematics in later years.

TVO is also a proud member of the BlackBerry® Alliance Program which gives TVO access to a wide array of benefits to help support, market and distribute their applications for BlackBerry smartphones. Both games were developed with the expert advice of TVO’s in-house educator, and BlackBerry Alliance Program partner Sweet Caesar.

Loud Crow InteractiveSpeaking of interactive entertainment for kids, Loud Crow Interactive has just released its latest eBook to the iTunes App Store. Sandra Boynton’s The Going To Bed Book is available now for the iPhone and iPod Touch ($1.99 USD) and the iPad ($2.99 USD).

The Going to Bed Book app has all the magic and appeal of a traditional pop-up book, offering lively interactivity and thoroughly mesmerizing discovery. Imagine! An ark that rocks. Characters that respond to touch with sound and movement. Tap water that turns on and off, and steam that fogs the screen. Can you write your name in the steam? Of course! There are teeth to brush, and a group exercise session with ten pajama-clad animals (big and small) each with its own unique exercise. Help the little piggy turn off the lights, then rock to sleep to the music box sound of twinkling stars. There’s something wonderful to discover on every page.

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The Going To Bed Book allows young readers to touch, pull, and turn animals and objects to make them move, or they can tilt the device to watch things slide and cascade. The ebook is narrated by Billy J. Kramer and features the same original text and illustrations as that found in the actual board book. Enable the “Big Guy Reads It” option with word highlighting to help improve reading skills, or use “I want to read it myself” and hear individual words pronounced with the tap of a finger.

kerberos productionsVancouver developer Kerberos Studios has unravelled more mysteries of the universe in a new video interview with Martin Cirulis, the lead designer of Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter, sequel to Kerberos’ hit 4X science fiction strategy game.

Cirulis gives an introduction to the dangerous Lords of Winter and underlines how the Sword of the Stars II universe has evolved since the first game. Learn how Kerberos uses mechanics to enhance narrative and get an introduction to what the new Mars 2 engine brings to the table. Cirulis also talks about the different ways to kill your enemies and how diplomacy has evolved to take into account the needs of an established empire.

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A Bigger, better, stronger, faster Sword of the Stars II will be coming to your corner of the galaxy this autumn.

battlegoat studiosAnother Canadian-made game in the Paradox Interactive stable is Supreme Ruler: Cold War, and BattleGoat Studios has released a new developer interview for this upcoming historical grand strategy title. In this latest video, BattleGoat Studios Lead Designer David Thompson gives players a bit of insight to what they can look forward to in the latest addition to the Supreme Ruler series.

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Supreme Ruler: Cold War is the next installment in the Supreme Ruler series and gives players control over a 1950’s United States or Soviet Union as they try to lead their country to glory. Players make economic, diplomatic, domestic, and military decisions to grow and modernize their nation to ensure its place atop the rest of the world.

scotiabankScotiabank, in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), have launched the Small Business Big Impact Challenge, which shines a spotlight on small business owners who are positively impacting their communities in the areas of employment, innovative products and services, as well as leadership.

“At Scotiabank, we recognize that small businesses play a vital role in building strong communities. Much more than just a place to purchase food or to get a car serviced, they contribute in ways which make our communities better places to live, for each one of us,” said Islay McGlynn, Managing Director and Head, Scotiabank Small Business. “With the Small Business Big Impact Challenge, we want to recognize and reward small business owners who have made an impact on their community by going above and beyond to meet not only the needs of their customers and employees, but the community at large.”

“Small businesses are small in name only,” commented Aron Gampel, Deputy Chief Economist, Scotiabank. “Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, providing big support to the nation’s G7-leading performance. Small businesses are not only big generators of jobs in goods and services throughout the country, but they are also big contributors to the investments and exports that are important drivers of growth.”

To qualify for the Small Business Big Impact Challenge, entrants must demonstrate how their business has made a difference in the community where they live and work in one of the following three categories:

  • Providing Employment: Implementing employment practices that reflect and support community needs as well as employment opportunities.
  • Offering Products or Services: Creating new industries or ways of doing business, or offering unique products or services that benefit their community.
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Taking a leadership role in initiatives for their community that ultimately makes it a better place to live and work.

Beyond their indispensable role as job creators and innovators all across Canada, small businesses start as the heart and soul of their neighbourhoods and have a hugely positive impact on community prosperity and identity,” enthused CFIB president, Catherine Swift. “In conjunction with CFIB’s 40th anniversary and during 2011, the federally designated Year of the Entrepreneur, we are delighted to be partnering with Scotiabank in support of those small business owners who stand out amongst an already outstanding group of peers.”

The challenge ends on April 30, 2011. All Canadians are encouraged to visit the website as everyone can vote for their favourite small business. The top 15 entries, five in each category, will be presented and evaluated by the Expert Small Business Judging Panel, which will then select the three finalists to be awarded $10,000 each.

The Expert Small Business Judging Panel consists of:

  • Islay McGlynn, Director and Head Small Business, Scotiabank;
  • Kaz Flinn, Vice-President Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotiabank;
  • Catherine Swift, CEO, CFIB;
  • Tom Sloan, Vice President Small Business and Commercial Markets, Export Development Canada; and
  • Greig Clark, PROFIT Magazine columnist, and founder of College Pro Painters.

Government of CanadaThe Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, welcomes the passage by Parliament of Bill C-22, An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service. The legislation will help protect children from online sexual exploitation.

“The creation and distribution of child pornography is an unspeakable crime which will not be tolerated in Canada,” said Minister Nicholson. “Our legislation will assist police in tracking down Internet sexual predators, The Honourable Robert Nicholson Minister of Justiceand rescuing children from sexual exploitation.”

In September 2008, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial ministers responsible for Justice agreed that Canada’s response to child pornography could be enhanced by federal legislation establishing mandatory reporting of online child pornography by providers of Internet services.

Bill C-22 applies to suppliers of Internet services to the public, including those who provide electronic mail services, Internet content hosting services, and social networking sites. It requires them to:

  • Report, to a designated agency, tips they receive regarding Web sites where child pornography may be available to the public; and
  • Notify police and safeguard evidence if they believe that a child pornography offence has been committed using an Internet service that they provide.

Failure to comply with the duties under the legislation will constitute an offence punishable by graduated fines. For individuals (sole proprietorships), the maximum penalty is a fine of $1,000 for a first offence; $5,000 for a second offence; and for third and subsequent offences $10,000 or six months imprisonment, or both. For corporations and other entities, the maximum fines are $10,000 for a first offence; $50,000 for a second offence; and $100,000 for third and subsequent offences.

“We all have a role to play in the protection of children from sexual predators,” said Minister Nicholson. “This legislation will improve the collaboration between internet service providers and police to better protect children from online sexual exploitation.”

The Canadian Council of Learning (CCL) has launched a new online tool that allows users to measure the state of Canadian Council on Learningtwo crucial components of financial literacy—numeracy and document literacy—in more than 52,000 neighbourhoods and communities across the country.

The two new interactive maps produced by CCL, in partnership with DataAngel Policy Research Inc., provide literacy profiles for neighbourhoods across Canada, highlighting at-risk communities where residents lack the basic literacy skills needed in today’s knowledge-based society. The maps were produced using estimates generated by DataAngel Policy Research Inc. using data from the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALSS) conducted by Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the 2006 Canadian Census. These new literacy domains add to earlier maps CCL released on health literacy and prose literacy.

The results show that 55 percent of adult Canadians (aged 16 and over) had low levels of numeracy and 49 percent had low levels of document literacy. (This is based on the number of people who scored below Level 3 on the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS), a survey conducted by Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.)

Numeracy and document literacy are essential parts of what many consider “basic literacy” and provide a key foundation in developing a more sophisticated set of financial literacy skills.

“Canadians are increasingly faced with a complex array of financial decisions in their everyday lives—from choosing a mortgage and retirement planning to managing consumer debt and funding post-secondary education,” says Dr. Paul Cappon, President and CEO of CCL. “Yet, many Canadians do not have the financial literacy skills needed to make informed decisions related to money and investment.”

Numeracy is the ability to use basic math skills in everyday life. It includes such skills as calculating a tip at a restaurant, balancing a bank account or determining the amount of interest on a loan from an advertisement. Document literacy is the ability to find and use information in forms, charts, graphs and other tables. Financial literacy involves the use of multiple literacies—prose, document, numeracy—often simultaneously.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines five levels of literacy with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 being the highest. Level 3 is internationally accepted as the level of literacy considered necessary for meeting the demands of everyday life and work in an information-based society.

“The first step in any process of improvement is to be able to accurately measure change over time. CCL’s innovative maps help Canadian communities, and the country as a whole, determine current literacy levels,” says Cappon. “I hope that decision-makers and individuals throughout Canada will use these maps for the purpose of continuous improvement.”

 

Canadians should remember that they are not alone when they surf the Web, and that others may be using the Internet for malicious purposes. As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) reminds Canadians of the importance of protecting themselves from Internet and email fraud.“Fraud can take many forms. Nobody is safe from it, not even the most knowledgeable consumer,” says FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. One common form of fraud is called “phishing”, where a victim receives a fraudulent email that appears to come from a legitimate organization, such as a Government of Canada department or the victim’s own financial institution. The email instructs the consumer to visit a false website, download fraudulent content or provide confidential personal information.

With your personal information, such as your date of birth, passwords, Social Insurance Number, credit card or bank account information, fraudsters can use your credit card accounts or get new credit cards, and make purchases that you might be held responsible for. If your personal information falls into the wrong hands, you could even become a victim of identity theft.

How can you avoid falling victim to Internet or email fraud?

  • Never give out personal information over the Internet unless you trust the site you are on. Check that there is a padlock icon in the Web browser window and that the electronic address begins with “https://”.
  • Open a single browser window at a time when using online banking, and don’t forget to clear your computer’s memory cache when done.
  • Never allow your computer to remember your passwords; change passwords regularly and do not share them with anyone. You can be held responsible for unauthorized transactions on your bank account if you are found to have divulged information about your account, such as your password or personal identification number (PIN).
  • Make sure your computer’s antivirus protection is up to date and use the latest version of your Web browser.
  • Check to make sure that the Internet address provided in the emails you receive is related to the subject of the emails.
  • Access websites using the address bar. Never click on links provided in emails.

FCAC also publishes tip sheets to help Canadian consumers protect themselves against and prevent identity theft, credit card fraud, and fraudulent e-mails and telephone calls. In a video success story, Ken MacDonald, Crime Prevention Coordinator with the New Glasgow Police Service in Nova Scotia, offers some advice about preventing telephone fraud and identity theft. FCAC’s publications and tip sheets are available on the Agency’s website at moneytools.ca.

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14th February 2011

Trailers For Your Valentine

Reminder: There are 15 days left to get your nominations in for the Canadian Video Game Awards.
Reminder: There are 15 days left to submit entries for the 2011 Design Edge Canada Regional Design Awardsubisoft
Reminder: Digital Media practitioners, don’t forget to fill in the industry survey over at Pixel to Product.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed in today’s conference call to investors that there will be a new Assassin’s Creed infinite ammo game this year, however we will all have to wait until May for more details.

Winnipeg studio Infinite Ammo, the co-developer of Aquaria, has posted a dev diary update for Marian and the Fantastic World of Dreams, and the game thus far looks great. In this very detailed dev diary you read about the process of meshing 2D with 3D and the trials the team has experienced thus far as the game unfolds. You can also hear a sampling of the game’s soundtrack as you read the diary post.

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If you are unfamiliar with Infinite Ammo’s project, the game’s main character is Marian, a beautifully carved marionette who rips her strings from the grasp of ‘The Narrator’ and to become her own master. She becomes caught in the dream world between life and death, learning to her own puppet strings as a tool in her quest to Rocket 5 Studiosdiscover her true identity, and in fitting with today’s universal Valentine’s Day theme, she may even find true love.

Rocket5 Studios has released the first teaser trailer for that studio’s upcoming iOS game XS Force, which the creators will be demoing at GDC 2011. XS Force is an explosive arcade shooter starring characters inspired by some of the biggest action movie stars of the 1980?s, and this trailer lets you get a glimpse of one of the XS Force heroes.

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Rocket5’s previous titles for the iPhone and iPod Touch include Giant Moto and Holeshot Drag Racing as well as amusement apps Alien Booth and iSpoof Walken.

source studioSource Studio has announced new DLC for the recently updated Proto Galaxy. Proto Defense, the first DLC release for Proto Galaxy, will soon be available for free via the game’s Steam page. Check out what’s coming in this expansion:

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Released in October 2010, Proto Galaxy is a turrent defense game that allows up to four players to team up and save the galaxy from an alien force determined to enslave humanity. As Earth’s last line of defense, you must put an end to the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors.

distribution360Distribution360 has acquired rights to distribute the Cartoon Network U.K. version of Skatoony to French and German-speaking Europe as well as Spain. The company will also distribute the North American version of Skatoony—produced by marblemedia—to the same territories. Skatoony (U.K.) airs on Cartoon Network U.K.; Skatoony (North America) was commissioned by TELETOON, and premiered on the Canadian kids network in English and French this past October. Skatoony is the first animated/live-action quiz show adventure that pits tweens and ‘toons against each other in four frantic, trivia-based rounds. Set in a fantastical television studio in the fictional town of Showtown, the series is anchored by the cartoon duo of hostskatoony Chudd Chudders and his lounge-singing sidekick, The Earl. Each week, they attempt to put together another show, while all manner of mad happenings occur around them. Skatoony Interactive features the “Skatoony Home Game,” a multi-player game where kids play Skatoony in real-time against other kids online.

“We’re excited to be distributing both versions of Skatoony to international markets,” says Stéphanie Röckmann-Portier, Managing Director/Head of Sales, Distribution360. “We’re looking forward to offering broadcasters a library of versioned episodes in order to identify content that best suits their needs.”

“Working with Distribution360 gives us the opportunity to exploit new territories for Skatoony,” says Michael Carrington, Chief Content Officer, Turner Broadcasting. “It’s a fantastic fast-paced game show which is sure to delight new audiences across Europe.”

In addition to Skatoony, D360’s kids slate also includes Splatalot, Ambition Skatecamp, This is Daniel Cook, and This is Emily Yeung for distribution to international markets.

communitechCommunitech’s annual Tech Leadership Conference on March 2, 2011 is the place to be for anyone in high-tech — to hear keynote speakers author Geoffrey Moore and futurist Watts Wacker, share views with journalist and author Scott Berkun, and gain insights from a high-tech power panel moderated by former Global national news anchor Kevin Newman. More than 500 people are expected to attend the largest such one-day event in Southwestern Ontario.

“It’s an action-packed day that will focus on the new fundamentals of business in an era where the power of the crowd shapes everything from marketing practices to purchase consideration, and leading-edge innovation continues to drive rapid change,” said Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech.

The Tech Leadership Conference will feature a ‘BIG Conversation’ between Canadian industry leaders — MKS CEO Philip Deck, Sr. VP OSI John Ruffolo, and CTO OpenText Eugene Roman with Geoffrey Moore and moderated by Kevin Newman — addressing the major shifts occurring in the tech industry. Startup companies will also pull back the curtain on latest innovations moving from stealth mode to commercialization in the annual Tech Expo staged at the conference.

Geoffrey Moore is best known as the author of the ground-breaking book “Crossing the Chasm” and is a managing director at TCG Advisors and a venture partner at MDV. Tech leadership attendees will hear from Moore how disruptive innovation can have a positive impact on their business plans. Lecturer, best-selling author, political commentator and social critic Watts Wacker will bring a futurist’s perspective to the Tech Leadership Conference, focusing on navigating the sea of change in business.

Scott Berkun — author of three best-selling books, contributor to publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, and a blogger for Harvard Business and BusinessWeek — will investigate the myths of innovation.

Breakout sessions at the Tech Leadership Conference include the following topics and leaders:

* Myths of Innovation: Scott Berkun
* Developing Your Digital Roadmap: Dan Christian, DanoDigital
* Recruiting Trends: Sharon Rudy, SpencerStuart
* Under Construction: The Sales and Marketing Organization of the Future: John Neeson, Sirius Decisions
* Life After Exit Leadership Panel: Steve Woods, Google; Yvan Couture, Primal; Ron Neumann, Dejero Labs; moderated by Greg Barratt, Communitech.

secure keyCongratulations to Toronto-based SecureKey Technologies Inc., who has received an investment from Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization. SecureKey designs hardware and software solutions to enable the strong cryptographic capabilities of debit, credit and identity smartcards including those within NFC based phones to be used for online authentication and online purchases. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

canonCanon Canada is launching a national print and broadcast campaign, developed with JWT Canada that is uniquely Canadian – for Canadians by Canadians. The campaign, with additional online elements to be incorporated in the next several months, aims to deepen Canon Canada’s emotional connection with its consumers through the telling of important shared moments in life.

JWT Canada undertook strategic sessions with the various business units, which resulted in the notion that people need and want Canon imaging products when the output really counts; be that a photo of your child’s graduation, a retina camera that can detect early warning signs of diabetes or print-outs for an important client presentation. The campaign takes the focus off the product attributes and shines a light on the people who use Canon products.

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27th January 2011

Step Into the Creatisphere

There is a ton of news coming out of the Canadian Creatisphere today. Grab a coffee and let’s take a look at what’s going on so far. Congratulations to the team over at Capcom Studios Vancouver whose Dead Rising 2: Case Zero game was the top selling title last year on XBLA with 689 000 units downloaded to Xboxes around the world. Congratulations also to the Assassin’s Creed team over at Ubisoft Montreal for being named as the Guinness world record holder with Assassin’s Creed II being featured on 127 international publications between April 2009 and April 2010.

The BallsA free version of The Balls! Extreme Sports Ball Busting has been released by Savant Inc. The Balls game is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; the paid version is listed at 99 cents USD. The free version offers OpenFeint and the same great graphics, audio, and frantic gameplay as the paid version, with a teaser for another mode coming in the future.

Riese Battle for EleysiaRiese: The Battle for Eleysia by Genius Factor Games has had an update to its features, along with a bug fix. Add features include the addition of Head-to-Head Multiplayer (via local wifi), stability improvements and aforementioned bug fixes, along with updates to the battle screens, How To Play help and screen-flow for editing decks. Riese: The Battle for Eleysia sells in the iTunes App Store for $2.99 USD.

Drift ManiaDrift Mania Championship is now available worldwide on the Mac AppStore for $2.99. This new high-resolution version includes all the in-app purchase items that are available as options in the iOS version. As with all previous platform versions, the Mac AppStore version is loaded with new features like real drifting, as well as the ability to compete with users who are on other iOS or Android devices. Experience longer burnouts, taking 11 different vehicles through 3 levels of difficulty on 8 tracks as you compete to take over the global leaderboards.

ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver has just announced its latest event, which will be held on February 8th in the Djavad Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterMowafaghian Cinema at the SFU Woodward’s campus on West Hastings. Tron – Cult Favourite to Franchise will feature two presentations that will take a look at this convergence of  Vancouver film and game development teams. The first presentation will cover the visual effects used in the making of TRON and TRON: Legacy. This session will be presented by TRON animator and programmer Frank Vitz and Darren Poe, Digital Supervisor at Digital Domain Vancouver.  In the second presentation, former Propaganda Games Technical Art Director Gary Snyder and Art Director David Patch will share their experiences working with the TRON: Legacy film team to recreate the TRON assets and storyline in the video game TRON: Evolution. Tickets for this event are $25.00 for non-SIGGRAPH members or $15.00 for members and include a pre-event social mixer.

Hothead GamesHothead Games has released part two of the Ask Dr. Mike video series with Dr. Mike Hayward. Watch this intense and dramatic documentary which studies the habits of Swarmites as they weave their way through diabolical and unrelenting gauntlets of death and destruction, attempting to be the last pudgy blue moron still standing. It is highly recommended that those who are planning to take over their own Swarm colonies study the video series closely, so that you will be prepared for any situation into which your Swarmites will undoubtedly  place themselves. If you have the opportunity to practice herding cats, I suggest you take advantage of the experience.

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As part of the PlayStation®Network “11 for 11” sale, players can grab Big Sandwich’s thrilling dragon-themed game Big Sandwich GamesHOARD™ for half-price until January 31st. With game play for 1 to 4 players, HOARD™ combines action and strategy elements to create an innovative gameplay mix unlike anything else on the store. The game features over 35 levels, 4 game modes, 100+ badges to earn, trophy support, leaderboards, and anyHoard-Screenshot combination of couch and online players. Best of all, HOARD™ puts the dragon in the hero’s role, where he must strive against cruel knights, fierce wizards, conniving burglars, and even rampaging giants.

Critics and consumers alike have appreciated HOARD’s unique design. IGN recently honored HOARD™ with the “Best Quick Fix” Best of 2010 award, and the game was also nominated in the “Best Competitive Multiplayer” category. Joystiq says “HOARD’s gameplay shines,” and 1UP reports “the game hides a surprising layer of complexity and strategy.”

“If you’ve been keeping an eye on HOARD™ but have been waiting for the right time to try it, now’s officially that time,” says Glenn Barnes, Big Sandwich’s Creative Director. “For less than 8 bucks you get a proven, acclaimed game Technology Impact Awardswith over 20 hours of gameplay. It’s a no-brainer.”

Don’t forget to get your nominations in for The Technology Impact Awards. The BCTIA will be accepting submissions for BC’s top technology innovations, companies and individuals from all sectors until March 11th. The TIAs will be held on the evening of June 9th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Award categories are as follows:

Technology Awards: Most Promising Pre-Commercial Technology, Excellence in Product Innovation and Best Application of Technology

Company Awards: Most Promising Start-up, Emerging Company of the Year and Company of the Year

Personal Recognition Awards: Team of the Year, Community Engagement and Person of the Year

Canadian Marketing AssociationThe Canadian Marketing Association invites you to attend the 2nd Annual CMA Awards Case Study event, where attendees will join Master of Ceremonies Aldo Cundari in a close-up look at some of today’s top creative works and better understand how they came to be CMA Award winners. The Case Study event will be held in the Victoria Room at  Toronto’s Metropolitan Hotel on February 2nd from 3:30 – 5:30pm, with a networking social immediately following the session. All-inclusive tickets are $75.00 each for CMA members or $95.00 earch for non-members. Tickets for the cocktail party only are $25.00 each for CMA members or $30.00 each for non-members.

merging media conferenceMerging+Media has announced that there will be a Spring session featuring Anita Ondine-Smith, who will present an exclusive Transmedia Seminar + Lab on April 28th and 29th at the VanCity Theatre in Vancouver. The focus of this session will be a 1/2 day Seminar with a 1 ½ day hands-on in-depth lab on the full cycle of Transmedia development, writing, production and distribution from Conception to Consumption. Event participants will obtain a framework for production as well as Creative Toolkit and Business Strategies for Transmedia production. This Transmedia theory, Case studies and architectural workshop is designed to provide tools to create successful transmedia productions. The seminar portion of the event will be open to 100-150 people, while 20-24 producers, writers, broadcasters, commissioning editors will be selected to take part in the workshop.

Merging+Media has also confirmed that the next full conference and master class will be returning in October. Like the first conference held last fall, this event will feature world class speakers and experts who will present “Best in Class” case studies and high calibre discussions on the business of cross-media production. The two day programme will include a Masterclass + Conference, International B2B Matchmaking, Networking receptions, M+M Socializer + Digital Gallery to showcase our latest local technology. The Merging+Media 2011 Masterclass will include the Merging+Media Pitch and Development Prize. Keep an eye on the Merging+Media site for confirmed dates and speakers.

Canadian Telecom SummitThe Canadian Telecom Summit has early bird pricing available until February 28th, which means you can save $200.00 off the regular registration price. The 10th annual Canadian Telecom Summit will be taking place in Toronto on May 31st through June 2nd and offers three days of discussion regarding the key issues and trends surrounding the Canadian Telecom industry.

swarmjamGroup buying site SwarmJam, which launched across all Postmedia Network properties in December has expanded to the Winnipeg area through a partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press. The promotion-based system uses a platform through which consumers are connected with local businesses. SwarmJam’s group buying service offers savings of 50% or better, which for some deals can actually grow progressively better as more people sign onl For “progressive deals”, when the offer closes, the number of cumulative purchases determines the actual discount. So, these deals become better as subscribers share the promotion with friends, family and people in their social network. Users of the service simply sign up for a free subscription to get the SwarmJam Winnipeg Daily Deal emailed directly to their inbox. They can then click on deals they like, pay online, print the certificate and visit the business to redeem it. There are currently thirteen major urban and suburban areas which offer SwarmJam deals.

Wicked InteractiveWicked Interactive, publisher of Mission Against Terror, has launched Occupation Mode with a twist. Alongside the hotly anticipated new game mode which brings hardcore, capture-the-flag-style gameplay comes the chance to win the most unique and priceless weapon so far seen in the popular, free-to-play shooter – the Golden AK-47.

“We have been saving this announcement for just the right moment,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “With the frenzy of excitement over Occupation Mode, it seemed like the perfect time to blow everyone’s minds with this news. The Golden AK-47 is the ultimate showpiece for the M.A.T. community.”Golden AK47

The Lottery System enables players to take a break from a raw competition of Occupation Mode. Just like any other lottery, players step up, lay down their ticket and spin an actual wheel that appears right in the middle of the screen. The Golden AK-47 is merely the ultimate prize; there are plenty more for those who are feeling lucky.

“There are a whole assortment of weapons that the Lottery System offers,” added Ho. “Many, like the Golden AK-47, are one-of-a-kind items that cannot be purchased. We hope the M.A.T. Community enjoys the new System. It’s our way of helping them forget the winter doldrums.

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18th November 2010

Swarm in 2011 Preview AC Brotherhood Soundtrack and A Christmas Carol

Hothead GamesHothead Games and UTV Ignition Entertainment Ltd. have confirmed that Swarm is coming to both PlayStationNetwork and Xbox LIVE Arcade in early 2011. The as-yet unrated Swarm lets players take control of 50 utterly fearless Swarmites and drive them through an intense, entertaining and often suicidal battle of survival. Run, bash, huddle, boost, stack, jump, push and throw your way through gauntlets of death and destruction in an attempt to collect valuable DNA and ensure that at least one Swarmite survives.

“Swarm is perfect for PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade because of its unique art direction and gameplay,” said Nigel Fox, Head of Publishing for UTV Ignition. “We’re thrilled to be partnered with Hothead because we share their passion for bringing unique experiences to gamers through these innovative digital platforms.”swarm

“We’ve been working hard on Swarm for a while now and think it’s our most addictive game yet,” said Joel DeYoung, Director of Game Technology for Hothead Games. “The Swarmites are both lovable and deliciously expendable at the same time-the game’s creation is proof positive of the dangers of excessive exposure to Saturday morning cartoons we were warned about so many years ago. Swarm is exactly the genocidal romp your parents hoped you’d grow up and marry someday.”

Swarm is the first game to feature mass character control, where you move all 50 Swarmites at once. Steer your swarm through the game and they naturally flock and flow around obstacles. Creatively combine swarm moves to work your way through a relentlessly dangerous and hilariously brutal environment. Compete against your friends to get the high score by deftly moving through the world and cleverly solving puzzles the game throws your way.

UbisoftUK retail store ShopTo.net recently an Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Q&A competition asking customers to send in their questions about Brotherhood, Ubisoft and making video games for Julien Laferrière, the Production Manager on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Julien and his team chose the best questions and have produced this exclusive Assassins Creed developer video for ShopTo.

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The submitters of these questions will each be receiving an Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Poster, and the best question (as picked by Julien) will be given an exclusive Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood hoodie not available anywhere else.

Ubisoft Montreal has also released the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood soundtrack for digital download, making it available via iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, 7Digital and Qobuz. Visit the Ubisoft Music site for song previews.

padworxThe beloved Christmas story that defines the true spirit of the season is coming to Apple®iPad™ and iPhone™ as a new, delightfully interactive experience! PadWorx Digital Media, Inc., an independent developer of a new category of interactive eBooks for tablet PCs, announced today it will release A Christmas Carol on the App Store® in time for the holidays!

“This is unlike any version of A Christmas Carol ever seen before,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, CEO and producer at PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. “Charles Dickens’ remarkable book reminds all of us not just about the importance of gratitude and charity, but about the power of personal transformation. Running with this idea and borrowing from the ‘steampunk’ art style more closely associated with Jules Verne, we’ve designed our A Christmas Carol to feel as if the iPad or iPhone you’re reading it on has been itself transformed into a steam-powered machine.”

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Readers will not only witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s heart-warming transformation through 130 pages of lovingly abridged text, but for the first time they will become part of the story through revolutionary interaction. Turn the key in Scrooge’s door and watch as the door knocker changes into the deceased Jacob Marley, or try your hand at cleaning pages of the grime of industrial-era London. Whether you’re traveling through time and space with Scrooge and the spirits of Christmases Past, Present, and Future, or powering up and manipulating an assortment of wonderful steam and gas-powered inventions, PadWorx A Christmas Carol’s steampunk-style animation, illustrations, original score and sound effects will captivate readers through the story’s unforgettable images and lessons of darkness, despair, joy and life.

The design and execution of PadWorx’s A Christmas Carol is so innovative that it has been endorsed by the Dickens family. “Reading A Christmas Carol has become a holiday tradition for many and we’re delighted to see PadWorx’s interactive version give families an entirely new way to experience the cherished story and perhaps even introduce the well-known classic to a younger generation,” said Mark Charles Dickens on behalf of the Dickens family.

A Christmas Carol is the second title in a series of new interactive eBooks developed by PadWorx Digital Media. The company released its debut title Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition last month, which quickly garnered national attention and praise from critics and consumers alike, becoming Apple’s iPad App of the Week the day after release.All interactive titles released by PadWorx Digital Media are built from the ground up using a proprietary game engine and create a brand new, fully-immersive reading experience through the combination of text, animation, gameplay elements, touch screen interaction, social media, sound effects and more. A Christmas Carol will be released first for the iPad, followed shortly afterwards by a version for the iPhone.

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18th November 2010

Questions and Answers About Deus Ex Human Evolution

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal has released this question and answer information sheet about the long-awaited addition to the Deus Ex franchise, Deus Ex: Human Evolution, due out in early 2011. The studio has also released an awesome new game trailer, which you can take a look at below. By the way, if you are in the market for a new career, Eidos Montreal is hiring.

1. Is every option (choice you have to make in order to progress) obvious/presented clearly before you?
No. Absolutely not. Some choices will be presented in ways that the outcome will be more obvious but, a lot of choices will be more or less hidden in the challenges you face and in the narrative. Depending on how you react, later outcomes will vary. We didn’t want to make a game where all the choices are telegraphed because it makes the choice more often than not based on how you want to boost your character as opposed as being immersed in the fantasy of the game. It’s definitely more subtle than a lot of games.

2. Will we encounter books, news terminals, newspapers, ATMs; and will some even be influenced by your own actions?
You will encounter a lot of things to read like newspapers, eBooks, etc. Unfortunately, we had to cut the ATMs because we were running out of time.

3. How many items will Adam be able to carry, and does this exclude weapons?
Depends on the size of your inventory. If you invest in it, you’ll carry a lot and if you don’t, you’ll have to make difficult choices on what to keep with you or not. It includes everything but “story items”.

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4. Regarding the Icarus Landing system: Is there any scientific research or advancement made that support the concept behind this aug? How can it be done?
The Icarus Landing System is a discreet augmentation surgically implanted in the user’s lower back, slightly above the coccyx at the base of the vertebral column. The device has an accelerative descent sensor built in; in freefall, the unit will automatically activate the patented High-Fall Safeguard System, an EMF decelerator generating a fixed-focus electromagnetic lensing field, projected downward along the plane of the drop. This field pushes against the Earth’s magnetosphere and slows the user’s descent to a manageable velocity, allowing him to fall from almost any height (within reason) to a relatively soft landing.

5. Will augmentations be permanent once installed, or can players mix-and-match augs or remove them?
There are indeed permanent.

6. How do augmentations like the claymore work when Adam wears his coat?
There are holes in his coat that allows for the claymore to work perfectly fine.

7. How are the augmentations divided amongst the four pillars that have been mentioned?
There divided in different categories like Cranium, arms, legs, torso, etc.

8. What are the augmentations that Adam starts out with?
Single Takedown, IFF, Retinal Prosthesis, basic hacking ability and the Infolink essentially.

9. How does health regeneration work? What will trigger it, how fast is it going to be, will it use energy?
When you take damage your health goes down. If you have being hit for “x” seconds, than it starts to regenerate somewhat slowly. It’s not as quick as games like Halo or CoD. You really need to stay out of the firing zone otherwise you won’t last long. When in trouble, you can use consumables (if you have any) to replenish it faster or to boost your health when it’s already full.

10. Will there be weapon stores for purchasing ammunition and tools?
Yes, there are some hidden merchants offering different kind of weapons and items. You need to find them though.

11. If players choose to play in a certain manner, they’re presumably going to be doing a lot of hacking throughout this game. Considering it sounds like the hacking minigame is quite complex (and presumably at least reasonably time consuming) what have you done to ensure that it doesn’t get incredibly tedious over time (Bioshock’s hacking minigame as a poor example)?
Every hacking session is different. Based on your level of hacking augmentations, the chances that the Sub-Routine will detect you will vary. And each time, you need to adapt to what happens. Also, there are some rewards (credits, virus programs, etc.) that can be accessed but always while managing the Sub-Routine system trying to catch you. So, it becomes a game of adaptation and  how much risks are you willing to take to get additional rewards.

12. Will I be able to pick all pieces of junk and different stuff just like in DX1 and use them to distract enemies or do something else with it?
You’ll be able to use different types of boxes to distract NPCs indeed. If you’re referring to things like a pencil or a glass the answer is no. We have a very detailed and rich world to discover so we had to make some tradeoffs in terms of the scope of interactive objects in order to keep a smooth framerate.

13. Why were BE cells, lockpicks and multitools removed?
We wanted to make hacking more important and deeper. And since we had so many features to develop for this game, we had to focus and lose some things like lockpicks and multitools.

14. Will the earlier Deus Ex music theme return?
Maybe…

15. Are we able to HOLSTER OUR WEAPON in Deus Ex Human Revolution?
Of course we are. Deus Ex is not a typical shooter when it’s all about gunning down enemies. Your journey brings you in civilized places where guns are not well appreciated. So, holstering it will make people more willing to speak to you. Who would chat with someone pointing a gun on our head?

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22nd October 2010

Never A Dull Friday

UbisoftUbisoft has released a video dev diary for Assassin’s Creed: The Fall, a comic book written and illustrated by Award-winning artists Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl and colored by Nadine Thomas, produced by Ubi Workshop and published by DC Comics. The first of the three issues will release on November 10th, 2010.

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Assassin’s Creed: The Fall follows 19th century Russian assassin Nikolai Orelov as he strives to claim an artifact of immense power from the hands of the Templars, encountering historical figures such as the ruthless Tsar Alexander III. Meanwhile, in modern times, a troubled young drifter copes with unsettling visions of a possible past life – visions that have irreversible consequences for the present.

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution is going to get a special preview tomorrow (today in AU) at The Mana Bar, a video game bar down in Brisbane, Australia. A team from Square Enix will be presenting a game demonstration, which will be followed by an exclusive video from the developers. Prizes and competitions giving away unique Deus Ex merchandise to the bar’s clientele during the day.

Loud Crow InteractiveVancouver’s Loud Crow Interactive Inc., a digital book publisher founded by a group of interactive entertainment veterans, announced today the redefining of e-books with its first release, PopOut!™ The Tale of Peter Rabbit, now available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch in all non-European territories.Pop Out Tales

With decades of combined experience in interactive digital media, the team at Loud Crow has applied its creative talents and technical expertise to revolutionize the reading experience. “For us, it’s all about making the reading experience fresher and better than ever,” says Calvin Wang, Founder and CEO. “We blend traditional content with rich, interactive elements such as audio, animation, and even touch and tilt gestures. Using the original illustrations and text, we’re able to achieve an authentic, yet modern experience that our readers will find unique and inspiring.”

The publisher’s first title in the PopOut!™ series of interactive children’s books brings the age-old Beatrix Potter classic to life with signature PopOut!™ spin-wheels, pull-tabs, spring-mounted elements, and objects that literally pop out of the page. Complete with a beautiful classical piano soundtrack, fun and immersive sound effects, and a charming vocal performance, this is an experience you and your family won’t want to miss.

Majestic MediaItWowed.Me, a new smartphone technology platform developed by Majestic Media Ltd., allows businesses and brands to drive audiences to Facebook fan pages and convert them into fans.

“Like” something in real life? By placing a Quick Response (QR) code on real world objects, smartphone users can now scan these codes with their iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or any smartphone device and instantly “Like” the real world product or business on Facebook, thus sharing it with their friends on the social media site. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th September 2010

New Developments From Complex Games, Battlegoat and Kerberos

Complex GamesWinnipeg’s Complex Games has announced the impending release of their latest iPhone game, but the game’s name is a total mystery! Further details about the title will be released in the following weeks, but in the meantime visitors to the game’s site can for a limited time win prizes by guessing the name of the mystery game. The game will be available on both the iPhone and the iPad.

Although there are no details available yet regarding the title, the Canadian-based game developer has promised that a game trailer will be available shortly after the winners of the contest are announced.

“We expect this game to make #2!”, says Complex Games Lead Programmer Frano Sailer in his usually cryptic way, “once this game launches, it’s really going to hit the fan!”

Battlegoat StudiosBattlegoat Studios and Paradox Interactive today announced the launch of the first Supreme Ruler: Cold War developer diary. In addition, to celebrate the occasion, they have released a selection of new downloadable wallpapers.

In Supreme Ruler: Cold War, players will enter the world of the 1950’s and navigate their nation through many of the historical headlines. Prepare to battle economic challenges, unstable governments and worldwide tensions in this grand strategy experience. Supreme Ruler Cold War

“With Supreme Ruler: Cold War as our first historical title, it brings the very exciting new realm of ‘what if’ into the gameplay of Supreme Ruler,” said Stewart Braybook, Battlegoat CEO. “History tells us about the Cold War, but there are so many turning point events and personalities that the end result was never certain. Supreme Ruler: Cold War will allow players to see if they can change history, improve upon it or succumb to it.”

Game Features:

- Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode
– Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode
– Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations
– Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge
– Grow and Modernize your Economy
– Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details
– And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces
– Enhanced Graphics and Sound including New 3D Terrain
– Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls
– Up to 16 players in Multiplayer over local network or Internet

kerberos productionsStill with publisher Paradox Interactive, they, along with Vancouver’s Kerberos Productions have released a new engine teaser trailer for Sword of the Stars II, the follow-up hit to the 4X franchise, Sword of the Stars. The game offers an evolved version of the original six races from Sword of the Stars and its expansions, Sword of the Stars II reveals the deep, dark secret of the Suul’ka. Boasting an all new graphics engine and incorporating new ship details that allow for new fleet strategies and tactics, Sword of the Stars 2 is poised to revive the 4X space genre and is scheduled for a 2011 release.

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